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By       Message JERRY TENUTO     Permalink
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In the event you have not been paying attention lately, our personal freedoms are no longer quite as readily available to us as they once were. Some don 't even exist anymore. For example: Local school boards are afraid to make certain decisions on their own, lest they cross the Thought Police who control the purse strings of Most Children Left Behind.

Watch what you say on the telephone; be extra careful about anything you might write in a personal e-mail.

DeLay spoke of a "competitive " two-party system of government, yet since the Right-wing Conservative takeover of 1994 he has led the charge to run roughshod over Democrats on every issue bar none.

He boasted of reforms in energy, telecommunications and transportation, as well as others, claiming these industries had been "bogged down and blocked by those who ran Congress for the 40 years " before the GOP upswing.

Is he serious? DeLay was so deep in bed with Enron I 'd bet even a CSI school dropout could find Ken Lay 's epithelial residue still on him.

What did you pay for gas last fill-up? I paid $2.779 a gallon earlier this week; the next day the sign read $2.899!

What kind of profits are the oil companies posting? $10 billion? $12 billion? More?

How much are you paying for natural gas and electricity this year? A damn sight more than last year. (I was lucky enough to have contracted for a two-year price guarantee with my natural gas supplier in 2004.)
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DeLay and his money train pals, such as Rep. Roy Blunt (MO), whom he personally tutored in the art of getting rich while in Congress, have ties to energy companies of various types in numerous states. It 's very curious how all of a sudden, just this past year, an energy company from Missouri, Ameren, came into the state of Illinois and bought up a boatload of the existing electric providers.

As for telecommunications, we are perhaps the last industrialized nation to receive high definition television. We were years behind most countries when it came to widespread availability of cell phones I remember watching the 1994 Olympics from Lillehammer, and the buzz from the CBS commentators was virtually every Norwegian age 10 and up carried a cell phone.

Television and radio, which were mandated in the original Communications Act to provide diversity, have been bastardized by the conservatives into the media outlets of a mere handful of major corporations. These corporations take their marching orders from the GOP-controlled Federal Government. More specifically, the RoveBush Fascist Regime.

As a broadcaster with an advanced degree in the field, I 've recognized the major alterations within most news organizations and the festering attitudes among younger news tyros. Week by week these electronic corporate subsidiaries become ever more the Ministry of Propaganda for the White House.

When they do refuse to kowtow, the Federal Communications Commission devises ways to levy ludicrous fines, thus creating a chilling effect across the spectrum. Case in point, CBS was recently b*tch-slapped to the tune of $3.6 million for airing an episode of "Without A Trace " that included a scene suggesting a teen sex party. The episode in question was a rerun, aired on December 31, 2004 that had garnered no complaints during its original broadcast; the complainants were members of Donald Wildmon 's American Family Association, virtually none of whom had actually seen the program.
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I was working at a newspaper in a known "red zone " when Wildmon 's call for a campaign to complain came over the fax machine in January, 2005. He didn 't want witnesses, just people to b*tch about the show. The lurid fax told concerned, honest Christians all they needed to know and submit to the FCC. The main thrust of the original call to complain was since the episode ran on New Year 's Eve children would be up later than usual, and therefore exposed to it.

What utter nonsense! Like an eight-year-old is going to be watching "Without A Trace " instead of the "Shrek " DVD he or she got for Christmas!

The fines just happened to be the first salvo fired by the new FCC chief, Kevin Martin, in what is apparently a power play between Conservatives and programmers over freedoms of expression under the 1st Amendment.

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An erstwhile Philosopher and sometime Educator, Jerry Tenuto is a veteran of seven years service in the U.S. Army. He holds a BS and MA in Broadcast Communications from Southern (more...)

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